Courtesy of Apartment Therapy's 8 Step Fall Cure (their version of "a house becomes a home") comes a valuable lesson: decorating doesn't necessarily mean shopping. Creative rearranging and simple organization can do wonders for your homes' state of decoration; here are some ways to stay out of the store but still give your home a fresh, new look.

1. Declutter: This is probably the single best thing you can do for your space. Clutter saps energy and detracts from a home's strengths.

2. Organize: Make sure that there's a place for everything and everything's in its place. If there's no spot for it, get rid of it.

3. Clean: Cleaning floors, windows, and surfaces brings a sense of order and calm to a space.4. Rearrange: After your space has been cleared of clutter and cleaned, spend a few minutes in a room and pay attention to its energy flow. Draw up a floor plan and rearrange your furniture for the best flow.

5. Paint: Okay, you do have to buy the paint, but painting is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce up a space.

6. Restore: If you have quality furniture that's a little out of date, upgrade it by restoring it with a fresh coat of paint, a reupholstered seat, or new hardware. Click here for tips on restoring old pieces.

::Apartment Therapy: Chicago

Difficulty level: Easy